Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
After Page One: Experience

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A guest post to motivate, encourage, and inspire...

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You make it difficult to write. I set my alarm, but you set yours earlier. Off with the PJs, on with the day’s clothes. I pick a set and you pick a set. Chaos ensues, and your set wins. We’re running late. A hectic flurry of breakfast, packed lunches, daycare drop-offs, school bus stops, and then finally silence. I’m alone with my thoughts for a few quiet moments. My mind wanders over the characters I haven’t fully discovered or that problem spot in Scene II that I simply cannot figure out. Never mind. Time for work.

You make it difficult to write. I try to squeeze in a few minutes while dinner is cooking. An idea strikes and I’m furiously jotting down notes on the back of a Target receipt. The sound of screaming jars me away from the active scene playing out in my mind and pulls me toward a squabble between two feisty children engaged in tug of war with the remote control. I stuff the receipt in my pocket and think to myself, “Later. You’ll have time later.”

Photo by Amanda Morris

Photo by Amanda Morris

You make it difficult to write. The kitchen is cleaned up. We’ve finished our nightly routine of swinging and singing in the backyard, followed by a bubble bath, and a few snuggles before bed. I lay you down to sleep and settle in on the couch with my laptop, poised to meet with my characters once again. Then a familiar call over the baby monitor, “Mommy!” I sigh deeply and make my way upstairs as your pained calls echo through the hallway. I wrap your ragged pink blanket around your tiny back and pull you close. I bounce you soothingly in the darkness, your delicate head laying softly against my shoulder. I feel your wispy, golden curls tickling my cheek.

Physically, you make it difficult to write but truthfully, you make it easy to write.

You make it easy to write because I know your love. I feel the magnetic pull between mother and child. I know the strife of a long, trying day washed away by a finite moment of embrace. My world is a more vibrant, passionate place because you’re in it. My emotions operate at a heightened amplitude because I have two little lives that have given a full purpose to mine. You have unlocked the empathetic person that I am and it has spilled over into my writing. Portraying emotion is now effortless and instinctual, simply because of your existence. I love harder, I laugh louder, I worry more, and I fear much.

You make it difficult to write, which makes it’s so very easy to write, because now, I truly know what life is all about. Moments, stories, relationships, and love—always love.

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Join our After Page One series. We’re looking for 300 to 500-word guest posts that motivate, inspire, and encourage other mama-writers, and we’d love to feature YOUR thoughts about getting started, getting back to a writing project, integrating writing with motherhood, reading, or having a positive attitude. The list is endless, but here are some questions that might help you get started. We’ll publish a short bio so readers can learn more about you and your projects. 


Julie Cullings is a 30-something married mother of two, located in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. When she’s not working full-time as a client relations coordinator for a financial services firm, you can find Julie growing her virtual assistant business, writing plays, binging on episodes of Dance Moms, and blogging about work-life balance at Live Work Joy. Find her on Facebook and Instagram.


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